The field of non-crystalline materials has seen the emergence of many challeng ing problems during its long history. In recent years, the interest in polymeric and biological disordered matter has stimulated new activities which in turn have enlarged the organic and inorganic glass community. The current research fields and recent progress have extended our knowledge of the rich phenomenol ogy of glassy systems, where the role of disorder is fundamental for the underlying microscopic dynamics. In addition, despite the lack of a unified theory, many interesting theoretical models have recently evolved. The present volume offers the reader a collection of topics representing the current state in the understanding of disorder effects as well as a survey of the basic problems and phenomena involved. The task of compiling a book devoted to disordered systems has benefited much from a seminar organized by the W.-E. Heraeus Foundation in Bad Honnef in April 1992, where we had the opportunity to discuss the project with most of the authors. Here we wish to thank the Heraeus Foundation for their support, and the authors and Springer-Verlag, especially Dr. Marion Hertel, for the pleasant cooperation.